IT support isn’t what it used to be.
It wasn’t that long ago that a surprising number of business leaders thought of IT support as little more than help keeping the printers online and the local network functional. Today, IT support is a critical part of business. If you’re not strategic with your IT resources, you’re not going to be able to keep up.
Whether your company is relatively small or a huge, international organization, you need strategic IT support. The question then becomes, what’s the best way to get it?
Internal vs. external
For many companies, the answer is to build out an internal IT department. The thinking behind this makes enough sense. If IT support is important, wouldn’t you want a dedicated resource that’s always on hand and focused exclusively on you?
But there’s a hidden limitation to this approach. A few limitations, in fact. However, we’ll address those below.
Right now, the important thing to note is simply this: internal IT support vs. a managed IT services provider isn’t an either/or proposition. It’s a both/and scenario.
An effective full-service MSP can absolutely replace an internal IT department. That’s the very functionality we provide for most of our clients. But we also partner with internal IT departments. As a business leader, you don’t have to choose between one approach or the other. We’d argue that you shouldn’t even think of it that way.
What you should consider, rather, is this. What’s best for your business. We believe there’s a place for an MSP regardless of whether or not you have internal resources. What matters most is meeting the needs of your business.
“IT departments aiming to reinvent themselves with managed services should try to keep it simple.” – CIO
The strategy behind partnering with an MSP
A strong partnership with a qualified managed IT services provider can make a significant difference for your company. Below are 6 strategic reasons why you should consider working with an MSP if you’re not working with one already.
Simplify the complex
We begin with one of the most basic reasons to partner. You have plenty on your plate. Attempting to take on everything from emergency tech support to IT roadmaps in addition to your other responsibilities is a recipe for disaster. No one has the bandwidth (or the knowledge) to focus on so much.
A partnership with an MSP will give you back hours of time while simultaneously providing you with better IT support and planning than you could provide for yourself. That’s a win-win.
Any MSP worth its salt will begin your partnership with a clear articulation of goals, targets and KPIs. This accomplishes several things.
First, it helps you better define these things for your own planning and leadership. Second, it gives you a measure against which you can assess the success of your MSP engagement. And finally, it means you know exactly what to expect—no more, no less.
“To help determine whether your MSP relationship is on track or not, consider building out a few customized, key performance indicators (KPIs).” – CIO
Cybersecurity is a major concern in today’s business climate—as well it should be. It’s estimated that just one successful data breach could cause 48% of SMBs to shut their doors permanently.
The fact of the matter is that cybercrime changes too much – not just month over month but day to day – for the average business leader to keep up. Expertise is required. A managed IT services provider will be able to give your business proactive cybersecurity protection that could easily make the difference between a devastating breach and smooth sailing.
“IT security should be managed by professionals to reduce the risk of interference with the company’s sensitive data.” – TechRepublic
Improved efficiency & performance
The various amounts of time you and your staff spend wrestling with your network or setting up new tech equipment or doing DIY troubleshooting add up. Even if it’s just 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there, over time that reduced focus and productivity result in a significant amount of inefficiency.
An MSP can work out all those kinks for you before they have a chance to negatively impact your work. You’ll get more done and your employees will have a more satisfying and successful workplace experience.
A partnership with a managed IT services provider isn’t just about making things more streamlined now. The benefits extend into the future, as well.
Your MSP can help you map out the next several years of your IT development, taking into account your overall business growth goals, anticipated obstacles and new technology. It’s difficult to quantify the impact of that in dollars, but any business leader knows that staying ahead of the curve is one of the most powerful advantages you can achieve.
Finally, let’s talk about cost control. Keep in mind, we’re not suggesting an MSP partnership will give you direct “cost savings.” It might. It might not. That depends entirely on how much you spend now and what you plan to change, and we don’t want to set unrealistic expectations.
For many businesses, working with an MSP will be an increased cost. But you’ll know what your monthly expense for expert-level IT support is. These recurring costs are fixed, and the results fully warrant the money. In other words, the value is definitely there in both tangible and intangible terms.
Over time, you’ll get far more from a partnership with a managed IT services provider than it will cost you.